Every pimp and drug dealer, if he knows little else, knows at least this: "I got my rights."
For liberals this means expanding government to protect the rights of atomistic individuals; for so-called conservatives, this means contracting it. They come to different conclusions, but they use the same basic premises. They are two sides of the same coin.
If you are a conservative who is confused about what it is to be a conservative (which is most conservatives today)―or a liberal who wonders why you believe what you believe, then you need to read Yuval Levin's new article in First Things magazine: "Taking the Long Way," one of the most cogent and insightful recent essays on what it is to be a conservative--and a liberal progressive.
For many decades now, America’s political life has been divided between people who call themselves “conservatives” and people who call themselves “liberals” or “progressives.” This suggests that Americans are moved to conserve the good we have and to champion liberty and progress, which might make us better still. These are noble aspirations. But unfortunately, the left and right alike seem confused about what liberty and progress really mean and require. Our conservative party is confused about what it should conserve and our liberal or progressive party is confused about what it should advance. The two are not misguided in exactly the same way, but both tend toward radically deficient visions of the life of a liberal society.Read the rest here. It is behind a firewall, but you can buy the article online for $1.99. It will be the best two dollars you ever spent.